September 1900 brought to Galveston, Texas the worst natural disaster in U S history. A massive hurricane hit the city head on. Destroying most of what was then the 2nd leading port on the Gulf of Mexico, after New Orleans and leaving between 6 and 12,000 dead. Galveston had been the scene of two prior hurricanes, one in 1837 and then again in 1867 that caused severe damage. The city was rebuilt each time – but with little change to the structure of Galveston Island, which basically is a sand bar that sits off the Texas coast southeast of Houston in the Gulf of Mexico. After the 1900 storm the citizens had enough and pumped in sand off the nearby floor of the Gul and by the fall of 1901 were in the midst of raising the island by as much as 12 feet in some locations for protection. But on October 8, 1901 A deluge produced nearly 12" of rain in about a six-hour period. The torrential rains came to Galveston precisely 13 months following the day of that famous 1900 Galveston Hurricane disaster and caused much damage. More hurricane disasters would follow in Galveston during the next 20 years – but the raising of the island well above the level of the Gulf and a 20-foot-high seawall protected the city enough to stave off any more horrendous loss of life.
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